When it comes to cloud communications, why does management matter?
Tags: Cloud UC, UC management, Service provider, Enterprise, TCO, ROI, Efficiency, Scalability, Flexibility, Migration, Automation, MSP
Mike Frayne, CEO, VOSS
What does cloud technology mean for enterprise communications, and why are more and more telecom service providers offering cloud-based unified communications (UC) platforms?
Introducing: Cloud Communications
The cloud offers the same level of UC infrastructure as on-premise communications systems, with the added bonus of a larger variety of communications applications, but it makes the physical location of these platforms inconsequential. This means that no matter how complex the data or the number of site locations of any particular enterprise, all communications applications and services are readily available and easily accessible to all users through a centralized virtual network.
Simply put, cloud-based UC is good for business, offering:
- Efficiency: the cloud allows for businesses to grow faster, by allowing resource sharing from one team to another without further investments
- Lower costs: ‘going virtual’ with cloud-based communications systems lowers the total cost of ownership for enterprise companies
- Scalability: end users of cloud-based communications systems enjoy the benefits of continually upgraded infrastructure, services, and applications, with custom role-based access to the latest features and functionality
- Risk reduction: the cloud offers a level of resiliency and data security often superior to legacy on-premise communications systems
Choosing a Cloud Communications Service Provider
There are four different types of service provider that offer cloud communications:
- Tier-1 Telecommunications Companies: Traditional telecommunications service providers are common in nearly every country across the globe. These providers typically own their PSTN and networks, and can provide consistent service through all types of communications services.
- Specialist Cloud Service Providers: Cloud specialists are a new type of service provider whose numbers are growing rapidly in recent years. They offer lower costs and the latest cloud service technology.
- Managed Service Providers: These system integrators have experience in both cloud and on-premise communications solutions, and may be a good choice for enterprises seeking a hybrid setup.
- Over the Top Players (OTT): Some well-known OTTs include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Skype, who often offer competitive rates and particularly customized solutions.
Why Management Matters
When choosing a cloud communications service provider, an enterprise should ensure that the cloud-based solution they select is powered by a robust UC management system. This is because management empowers the service provider to both improve their SLAs to you, as well as lower their operating costs, meaning a win-win for both supplier and customer.
Modern, advanced UC management is the key to maintaining strategic control over your cloud communications architecture. It provides the lynchpin to flexibility through advanced web-based portals. Cloud communications management means that enterprises are able to easily and securely access customized portals to successfully administer, monitor and report on all their users, devices and cloud services and applications in real-time, from a central point of control. And, management includes the ability to decentralize administrative tasks down to departmental levels, and offer end users their own self-service capabilities from mobile handsets.
The end result is a highly automated cloud-based communications platform that is still controlled and "owned" by the enterprise, which promotes inter-company collaboration, improved business performance, and growth.
In a nutshell, cloud communications management provides:
- Strategic, custom levels of data control
- Unprecedented level of flexibility and scalability
- An easy migration that is more affordable with lower risk
- A controlled, managed evolution to cloud across all users and sites
- Quick and easy access to the latest features and applications afforded by cloud communications technology